2017 saw 11 summer teams in 7 cities across the UK & Ireland. Hundreds of volunteers came together to befriend, serve and study the Bible with international students.
"It is always a little nerve-wracking when you open the doors for the first event. So, you can understand my excitement as around 50 people joined us for our first evening, which included a traditional cream tea and a quiz about the Royal family. Numbers fluctuated through the rest of the week, but we seemed to have just the right number each evening, and a number of guests came back every night. Each evening a small group of students joined some of our team for a Bible discussion."
“The whole weekend was an absolutely lovely time! One of our goals this year was to really step it up with the venue and bring TRUE to life with some of our own flair and I think we did a great job in accomplishing that. While we still have a few things to tweak, we got some raving reviews from the students. The only thing I think was missing was just a few more students.
"It has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life to serve with Friends International as a Reach volunteer in Cambridge these past two years. My relationship with God has grown deeper, and my desire to see the nations come to Christ has grown exponentially. This growth of faith and conviction has come, in part, due to the “hands on” training I’ve received as a Reach volunteer.
From local to national training seminars and conferences, to the opportunity to lead international cafes and summer outreach teams, I have grown in my abilities to share the Gospel, read the Bible with international students, organize and lead events, and shepherd teams of Christian volunteers in the hope of reaching the nations for Christ.
As I prepare to leave the UK and my position as Reach volunteer, I look forward to seeing how God will use these experiences for His glory in new and different contexts."
This August a new, exciting film project based on the story of an international student is taking place in Edinburgh.
Friends International Affiliate John-William Noble intends to make a feature-length narrative film about a Chinese student who comes to the United Kingdom, leaving her home country for the first time to study. The film will follow her cultural struggles, including some comical encounters, as well as addressing many very realistic cultural differences and different ways of thinking between British people and Chinese people.
However, its main focus is reaching out with the Gospel and later in the film the main character is befriended by some Christians sisters in an international church and this leads to her committing her life to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour.
Approx. 80 international students and 30 team all meeting in a marquee. This was Word Alive 2017. Over 4 intense days we engaged with excellent talks from Peter Teagle on John 13-15 and our theme of Living for Jesus in an uncertain world. The Q&A showed how engaged the students were. Small groups allowed further discussion and questioning on how to apply the teaching, while seminars stretched us all to consider what the Bible has to say on Work, Relationships and Ghosts gods, spirits and ancestors. Of course it wasn’t all work. There was the fun of the sandcastle competition, the Find the Leader treasure hunt and two stunning meals eaten together. While the evening celebrations gave the experience of worshipping with thousands of others.